Brief police chase ends in crash

What began as a traffic stop for a smoking vehicle Sunday afternoon escalated into a cross-town chase and the ultimate capture of a 22-year-old Merced man inside the closet of his home.

Lt. Matt Williams of the Merced Police Department said Miguel Angel Narvaez, 22, was booked into Merced County Jail on charges of evading police officers and driving while unlicensed. He remained jailed Sunday night in lieu of $50,000 bail, according to a correctional official.

At 1:08 p.m., Williams said Officer Ryan Rasmussen saw a blue 1989 Mitsubishi truck smoking excessively at West 21st Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Way and initiated a vehicle stop.

The truck failed to yield and a short pursuit developed, with the driver recklessly running through stop signs before eventually crashing into a tree near West 26th and K streets, Williams said.

The man later identified as Narvaez ran from the vehicle as other officers responded and was found inside his residence in the 400 block of West 27th Street. Narvaez told officers he ran from the police because he was on probation and driving without a license. He suffered a minor shoulder injury in the wreck.

Associate Editor Doane Yawger can be reached at 209 385-2485 or dyawger@mercedsun-star.com.